Danedri Thompson
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Although voters approved a constitutional amendment legalizing raffles last November, raffles aren’t authorized until after the 2015 Kansas Legislature writes statutes to govern the practice.
Several candidates for Gardner City Council and USD 231 Board of Education are using raffles in order to fundraise for their respective campaigns. A practice Jeanine Koranda, spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Revenue, said is illegal.
“Lawmakers are working out the details,” she said. “Until those laws take effect, raffles of all types remain illegal.”
Political raffles could be illegal after the legislature irons out the final wording.
The Gardner News is aware of three local candidates using raffles to fund-raise. They include Greg Chapman, a school board candidate; and Rich Melton and Lee Moore,  candidates for Gardner City Council. Chapman hosted a fundraiser in which donations would include raffle tickets for a 50/50/25 drawing, a 60-minute massage and a date night raffle, according to a campaign flyer. Moore will raffle a Garmin Vivosmart during an election night party. A flyer suggests a $10 donation to be entered in the drawing. Melton will also raffle an item on election night, April 7. In exchange for a suggested $10 donation, Melton will raffle a tablet.
Koranda could not say whether campaign fundraising raffles would be allowed after statutes are written and approved.
The amendment question that voters approved last November did include descriptions of what types of groups will be allowed to participate in raffles once they are legal.
“The amendment sets out the parameters. Until the law is in effect, it’s really pure speculation,” Koranda said.
According to the amendment ballot question, only non-profit, religious, charitable, fraternal, educational and veterans organizations may apply for a raffle license.
For now, all raffles are illegal.
“If they’re conducting a raffle right now, it is illegal,” Koranda said.
Last November, voters approved the following ballot question :
Regulation of “raffles” authorized. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 3 of article 15 of the constitution of the state of Kansas, the legislature may authorize the licensing, conduct and regulation of charitable raffles by nonprofit religious, charitable, fraternal, educational and veterans organizations. A raffle means a game of chance in which each participant buys a ticket or tickets from a nonprofit organization with each ticket providing an equal chance to win a prize and the winner being determined by a random drawing. Such organizations shall not use an electronic gaming machine or vending machine to sell tickets or conduct raffles. No such nonprofit organization shall contract with a professional raffle or other lottery vendor to manage, operate or conduct any raffle. Raffles shall be licensed and regulated by the Kansas department of revenue, office of charitable gaming or successor agency.